Last week Coconino County Public Health Services District released their findings of an in-depth analysis of substance abuse trends and related deaths among Coconino County residents between 2012 and 2016.
The study found a disturbing trend over the five-year timeframe: injuries and deaths primarily caused by alcohol and/or drugs is on the rise (see graph).
The analysis found that out of 8,256 substance abuse related deaths in the county between 2012 and 2016, 8.9% were related to alcohol while 3.3% were drug related. Additionally, substance abuse during this timeframe attributed to 13% of all hospital visits with hospital charges totaling $98.4 million, and 11% of deaths.
Key findings from the report show:
Alcohol related hospital visits have increased by 25.8% and drug related hospital visits have increased by 97.0% (this includes visits related to overdose and chronic drug use of illicit, over-the-counter, and prescription drugs)
Of the total hospital visits between 2012 and 2016, 13% were attributed to either alcohol or drugs. Of those visits, 72.4% were alcohol related and 25.4% were drug related
Between 2012 and 2016, hospital visits related to alcohol and drugs increased by 44% and deaths increased by 121%
Drug deaths have increased 1.6 times faster than alcohol deaths
Alcohol was the primary cause of 5.7% of deaths and 5.3% of all hospital visits throughout the county
Alcohol related incidents are the largest burden throughout the county
Of the $69.8 million in hospital visit charges, 54% was billed to AHCCCS
77% of alcohol related hospital visits in 2016 were patients who have AHCCCS, costing tax payers $14.2 million in medical expenses
It ranked as the most abused substance, thus making it the leading cause of death among those 35-54 years old
It is the second leading cause of death among American Indian/Alaskan Native residents
The Coconino County Public Health Services District will continue to monitor and track substance use trends and to use those findings to collaborate with public health partners to enhance and expand services for substance abuse, suicide prevention, and behavioral health. For more information about the Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Program, visit here.
For more detailed information, you can find a summary of the report here and the full report here.
For more information about the Coconino County Public Health Services District, such as what they do and the different services they offer, click here.
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